Year 3 Day 73
Read - Ezekiel 6:11-14
Message - Alan Burke
Ezekiel is to communicate this message to the Lord’s people in exile, this is what the Sovereign Lord says, he is to clap his hands, stomp his feet, and cry “Alas”. The imagery is of lamentation and judgement. Ezekiel is clap his hands loudly, stomp his feet and cry in the bitterness of what is coming. Those who were in exile in Babylon, likely thought that they were secure from the judgment of God, what ever may befall on Jerusalem itself or of the land of Isreal surly they would escape. The judgement of God was not only on Jerusalem but the mountains, both symbolically of the Jewish people as a whole. The judgment of God would be and was inescapable. The exiles in Babylon would face the judgement of God too, sword, famine and plague for those in Jerusalem but for the jewish people as a whole.
For them as for us the only means of escape from the judgement of God, from his wrath is in His mercy. It is the Lord that chooses to spare some, he makes their rescue possible, the exiles may have believed that distance would have kept them save but hope in the things of this world, in man, in wealth, whether near or far. The judgement of God was coming.
Look to the closing words of what the Lord said to Ezekiel; “then they will know I am the Lord”. This refrain is used throughout the declaration of the judgment of God that is coming on them. It is used in verse 7; “they will know I am the LORD”, in verse 10; “they will know I am the LORD”, in verse 13, “they will know I am the LORD and then finally in verse 14; “they will know I am the LORD”. Used each time to make the point that the people would know the God of Isreal was the one true God. If they would not know him by his gracious provision to them, in the offer of blessing, to make them his people, they would know him by the cures that he brought upon them for their disobediences they would him in Judgement.
We know that the vision of Ezekiel was true. The word of the Lord that came to him was indeed carried out upon the people. There were those whom the Lord spared, and in time the Lord God brought His people back to their land. When they came back, they did not turn to idolatry again for indeed they did remember and know that they had grieved the Lord. They did not go after the false gods of the nations as before, instead they embraced the Lord as their God, they no longer tolerated idolatry in their midst, their was no longer high places where false gods of the nations were worshiped although their repentance was not as thorough as it should have been.
The only way anyone can escape from the judgement of God and the wrath due for sin is in His mercy. God has made our rescue possible and that is in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was made sin for us. There on the cross Jesus took the punishment that we deserve, He is the only hope of all people, this world will fail us, our family our friends, our health or wealth we will leave behind but Christ Jesus will not. In Him we know the grace of God as we repent and believe and through Him we escape the judgement that we deserve.
For us what we should know is that God calls those who are His people to be faithful, He calls us as the church and as individuals to be faithful to His word. We should be aware when we do not then the Lord will bring judgement upon us, what have we to offer this world when we compromise on everything for the sake of an easy life, Nothing! Instead we are to cling to the word of God, making it the foundation of who we are and what we do as a people, it should be our rule and guide.
Q71 What is required in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’ s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior. (1 Cor. 7:2–3,5,34,36, Col. 4:6, 1 Pet. 3:2)